Wonderful Winter Ale

Winter time is upon us, and keep the cockles of our hearts warm, I brewed a new winter ale. If timing was right, this beer will be a fantastic Christmas ale ready on Christmas Day. Here are the details for the Wonderful Winter Ale:

Mash the following for 60 minutes at 156°F:

  • 23 pounds Marris Otter 2 Row Pale Malt
  • 3 pounds 60L Crystal Malt
  • 1 pound Special B Malt
  • 8 oz. Cara-Pils
  • 4 oz. Black Patent Malt

While wort is boiling add the following:

  • 1 pound Dark Candi sugar

After Mash, bring to boil.  Boil time is 60 minutes 

Add bittering hops for 60 minutes of the boil:

  • 1.5 oz. Northern Brewer pellet hops 9.4% alpha
  • 1 oz. Perle pellet hops 9.5% alpha

After 50 minutes add the following for 10 minutes:

  • 1 oz. East Kent Goldings pellet hops 5.9% alpha
  • .5 oz. Cascade pellet hops 8.6% alpha
  • 1 oz. Sweet Orange Peel
  • In a separate fine mesh hop sack (very important to separate the spices so you can remove them at the end of the boil)
    • 1 tsp Cardamon
    • 1 tsp Coriander

When 60 minutes is up, promptly remove the spice sack.

Remove from heat, cool wort below 80°F and transfer to carboys.  Pitch yeast:

  • Wyeast #1098 British Ale Yeast 
  • I originally wanted to use Wyeast #1099 Whitbread Ale, but the LHBS was out

This beer fermented out in about 5 days at a temperature aroun 68°F.

Final Specs:

OG: 1.077
FG: 1.031 (I think i may have had the mash higher than i specified)
IBU:  41.4
ABV: 6.1%
Yield: 10 gallons

Preparing for Lion

I am getting ready for Mac OS X 10.7, which should be available tomorrow for $30. But how should one prepare for it. First off, back up your entire computer to an external drive. Easy with Time Machine. But since this is the first major OS release with out media, what next? How do you go about doing the coveted clean install? Well, this is the time consuming part.
First off, I am going to go get my 10.6 factory restore discs for my machine. After I know I have them, I need to de-authorize every damn program I own (Adobe, iTunes, etc.) Then, the hard part…Clean install on a fresh hard drive. But wait, there is more. My install discs are 10.6.2, and App store isn’t there. Crap. I’ll have to do a 10.6.8 combo update. So after all that, I’ll re-authorize the computer, and download 10.7 from the App store. Now I know with the preview release there was a way to make a bootable DVD or USB stick, but I’m not ready to do that yet.
Well anyway, after all this time, it’s time to put everything back into the home folder. Re-install all my apps, and pray that the good ones work in Lion, and hope that Intuit has really screwed me over by writing crappy code with QuickBooks. Which brings me to my next task. That’s buying a new external HD and putting 10.6.8 on it to run the shit that I need that wont work in 10.7.
I’m sure there are other ways of doing this, but I like my convoluted way. Also I am doing this on the weekend so I am not up until 4 am Thursday futzing around with this.

LIfe with out Netflix (Streaming)

I like Netflix and I like streaming video. But can I live with out netflix streaming? The simple answer is yes. Until September 1, when the price gouging switch over begins, I’ll try to see if I’m spending my $8 wiesly.  Last year I watched 19 titles in three months.  With the new pricing, that comes to $1.26 a title.  This year I watched 31 titles in 7 months, for $1.81 a title.  That includes all titles, unfinished movies, or just a few quick views.  So I really didn’t stream that much stuff.  And in all likelihood, I’m not going to miss it.

So when I cancel, what are my options?  I can always rent a movie from Amazon or iTunes for $2 or catch one of their $1 rental deals.  I will still receive my Blu-rays, which I prefer because they look and sound better.  Sure, it’s not as convenient, but i’m patient.

What would I do with 100 Drobos?

If I had 100 Drobos I could save a lot of data. I could have single handedly save the day during the infamous “What is that clicking noise?” delima I had with my father. It could have remedied the “I have too many photos of my grandkids” scenerio I encoutered with my mom. My brother wouldn’t have “Run of of room to do school work at college, I need a new computer”. My clients can sleep at night knowing that their data is safe and expandable. I would only need one or two for myself. The rest I could give away to the backup clueless.

iPhone 4, My First Hands on Impression

So far so good. I received my iPhone a day early, so thank you FedEx and Apple. After un-boxing and setting the unit up, I played around with it for a while. Here are my first impressions:
It seems denser, and more robust that the old 3G. But I will not be testing the robustness in fears of shattering either glass plate.
The buttons have much better feed back. They are not mushy.
The screen is very sharp. My photos from my Aperture library re-rendered and look like a print, and the text looks like it was printed out on paper. I do have the yellow dots, but I don’t focus on them since they are in the corners, and don’t really hamper performance yet.
The voice quality is just fine with the few calls i’ve made and received on it. I do get wandering signal strength, but I’ve not had a call dropped yet, nor not received a call.
The Camera is very nice, and takes some decent pictures. Much better than my old 3G, not as good as a pocket Canon. Plus, there is no digital zoom, so it can’t replace that.
The flash is bright as HELL. DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY INTO THE FLASH. Do not use the flash to take self pics, you will be seeing spots.
Compared to the 3G, it is quick fast, compared to the 3G on iOS4, it is blazing fast.
The compass doesn’t work well in a car (tested as a passenger).
Voice command works pretty good.
I had a FaceTime chat with my pal in Washington. Works as advertised. Pretty good picture, especially when using the regular camera and not the forward facing camera. Also, it linked up with no problems when behind my company’s firewall.
I am waiting for a case to protect the unit, but until then, it kinda fits in my old iSkin Revo case for my old 3G. Generally works, not like a glove, and the camera is somewhat obscured.
More to come with a full review. Probably next week after I have some more time to play with it.

Made it to Prague

After waiting in line for 90 minutes to check in at the airport, flying for 9 hours (without sleep), sitting on the train for 7 hours (no sleep, but a 2 hour break and walk about in Dresden), we’ve made it to our hotel, got some sleep, and are about to hit the town. We’ve got a nice little hotel 20 minutes from the city center via tram.


Leaving today to go on my trip to Europe with my wife. I’ll have a few posts, and a few pics from my iPhone (no international roaming or data, thank you hotspots). But the good stuff will be online when I unload them from my camera storage unit.

Hands on the iPad I won’t buy

I picked up an iPad at Best Buy. I just picked it up, played around with it and then put it down.
Did you know that glass, aluminum, and LED backlighting is a lot heavier and bulkier than plastic and an e-ink display? The iPad is not a Kindle killer. It is a nice e-reader, but man this thing is heavy. They should have a chair there for you try it out as like Jobs demoed. I think a bed would be too much.
The screen is beautiful, and if the Wifi was fast at Best Buy, I’m pretty sure I could have watched all of Lego “Trinity Help” video on you tube. What I did watch looked fantastic. And Netflix would probably be very nice too. But, it’s streamed media, so why bother watching it on the iPad, when you can watch it on your TV?
The keyboard is weird, and if I had more time, I am pretty sure I could get used to it. But as I am using a full size keyboard on my MacBook, I don’t think I will like it that much. Originally, I though that the iPad would be my couch surfing replacement, but I don’t think that is going to happen. A used MacBook air would be a better choice for me, a really really cheap one.
Also, when I am in Europe, and want to get a book, I can buy it, where ever I am. The iPod Touch will is also a lot easier to carry around to hook up to free WiFi.
Enough of my rant. We’ll see what iPad 2.0 brings us.

More evil April ideas (Easter Edition)

Since Easter this year is soo close to April Fools day, I will disseminate my evil Easter pranks. Please don’t do these to loved one or strangers.
Prank 1: If your neighbors hide eggs in the back yard, dye some eggs (PAAS only, any other kit is wrong, you gotta stick to PAAS), gently put them in their backyard. Why gently? Because you didn’t hard boil them.
Prank 2: Same situation, sneak some collapsble eggs into a neighbors/friends Easter Egg hunt. The goodies in the eggs? Raw egg.
Remember folks, these are just hypothetical situations. Salmonella is no laughing matter.